Sen. Mike Lee says he's ready to back "a House-passed spending bill that canceled money for most of the 75 public works projects the Obama administration announced grants for in October," including a new streetcar system envisioned by Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker. Sen. Orrin Hatch disagrees with Lee, arguing that the streetcar project was part of a competitive grant process and should be funded.
Early indications are that several are not inclined to accept the House's decision to scale back the grants. One exception is Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who is ready to let the grants expire, including Salt Lake City's.
"With a $1.65 trillion deficit and $14 trillion national debt, there is no question we need to look at serious spending reductions. A logical place to start would be money that has been allocated but not spent," Lee said.
"It doesn't suggest the merits of a particular program or project is bad, though there are certainly many things in the federal budget that would be better handled at the local level," Lee said. "But it does suggest that, at the very least, perhaps we should wait to spend money on these programs and projects until after we have made significant progress on reducing our debt and getting our economy back on track."